We have been using Google Tools (Gmail, Google Drive, Classroom, etc.) for many, many years now. It's hard to remember what school was like without it! As a GSuite for Edu district, we have the added benefit of unlimited storage space in Google Drive. I am a Google Certified Teacher Level 2 and have also been a GSuite for Edu Certified Trainer. If you need help with anything Google, just make an appointment with me!
Back up and sync your files with Google Drive by using their Backup and Sync app on your laptop. Unlike the previous application, simply called Google Drive, Backup and Sync will allow you to backup everything from your desktop, documents, and photos folders (or anywhere else on your computer you'd like). So it is a great choice to ensure you won't lose anything should your computer experience catastrophic problems. You should be able to find it in your Applications folder of your school laptop already.
Add-Ons are a fantastic way to increase the functionality of the already awesome tools in GSuite for Edu. I use them all the time and they help me work smarter (not harder). Here are some of my favorite ways to use add-ons:
What do you want to do?
- Mail or Data Merge: Use Google Sheets for your data set (HINT: collect your data through Google Forms to make it even easier!) and then install the AUTOCRAT add-on. You can merge data into a Google Document or Google Slide and have the merged document exported in the original document format or as a PDF. Bonus is what it can even email the created document to someone!
- Turn off a Google Form Automatically: If you want a Google Form to turn off at a certain date/time or after a number of responses, the FORM LIMITER add-on for Google Forms is the tool for you. FORM SCHEDULER is another add-on that will give you more options such as paying attention to specific calendar event.
- Apply Formulas to Every Google Form Submission: I use COPYDOWN to have formulas applied every time a new Google Form submission comes through to my Google Sheet.
- Send Emails from Spreadsheet Data: If you have a Google Sheet with data you would like to turn into individualized emails, YET ANOTHER MAIL MERGE lets you fill in a draft email message with the content from the Sheet.
- Send Out Reminder Emails Automatically: If you already have a list of email addresses, I would recommend checking out the ADD REMINDERS add-on for Google Sheets. Fill in the sheet with who you want to remind, what the reminder is, and when you want to send it out and the add-on will do the rest.
- Add Several Events to My Google Calendar: I've used the FROM SHEETS TO CALENDAR add-on to do this and it seems to work well. Fill in a Google Sheet with all of the details and this add-on will create the events for you.